People with diabetes who use a widely-used app to monitor their blood sugar levels have been left stranded after the software stopped functioning on certain Apple devices following an update.

The FreeStyle Libre device, which offers glucose readings via a body-inserted sensor, negating the need for finger-prick blood tests, sends blood glucose data to the LibreLink app.

This technology, known as a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), is used by people with diabetes to maintain a steady watch on their blood glucose levels.

The NHS suggests that about 200,000 people in the UK rely on this device for their blood glucose measurement.

The sensor and LibreLink app are made by Abbott, the creator of the FreeStyle Libre device, widely regarded as the leading sensor-based glucose monitoring system.

Nonetheless, a recent glitch, first reported on the Diabetes Forum last Thursday, led to the malfunction of the LibreLink app on various Apple devices.

This resulted in the app’s removal from the App Store, creating a wave of confusion among users who depend on this technology for their blood glucose management.

The aim of the update was to enable the CGM to constantly transmit data to the app, thereby removing the necessity for manual scanning.

Unfortunately, this update inadvertently resulted in the app ceasing to function on some iPhones, which left these users without a way to monitor their glucose levels.

In response to this issue, Abbott have temporarily pulled the FreeStyle LibreLink app from the App Store while they work towards necessary improvements. They urged the affected users to uninstall and reinstall the app and to contact their customer service line for further assistance.

Forum users have shared their experiences, with one writing: “I had white screen and app crashing so restarted my phone and still the same. I uninstalled it so I could reinstall but can’t find it in the app store either searching or via the link from the Abbott website – says not available in my country (I’m in UK)”.

As of today, members of the Diabetes Forum reported receiving an update email from Abbott.

This situation clearly illustrates the crucial need for thorough software testing before releasing updates, and highlights the potentially significant impact of technology, especially in the area of health management.

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